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December 30, 2013, Washington, DC: What do the people interviewed this year on Neighborhood Nomads have in common? They share an admirable commitment to their homes, neighborhoods and cities, and use their professions as a springboard from which to connect to their communities. This year, I interviewed several formidable nomads and neighbors whose work has enabled them to plug into their surroundings. Whether architects, writers, artists or other creative and engaging professionals, they reflect on their environs close to home and close to their hearts, and it was a pleasure to learn from them on Neighborhood Nomads.

Follow the links to their stories below:

From Bozeman, Montana… Backcountry Lessons in Living
An interview with Campbell Gerrish of sustainable housing company Yeshaus

“We take impressions from our surroundings. It makes a difference for me to live in a space that reflects how I want to be.”

From Detroit, Michigan… Thoughts on a Struggling City
An interview with author Kerri Schlottmann

“I wanted to engage with the city as a backdrop. The parts about Detroit that are in the novel are very much personal to me, just the way that the characters process the city.”

From Washington DC… Documenting Chinatown
An interview with filmmaker Yi Chen

“I feel more connected to the Chinese American community, to the larger Asian American community in DC. That was something I didn’t expect, but that came out of [the project]. It’s a sense of finding my own community in the city that I didn’t have before.”

From the streets of our neighborhoods… Gaia’s Artistic Contributions
An interview with mural artist Gaia

“My favorite place to work in is Baltimore because there is a freedom that exists in that city’s streets.”

From Washington, DC… A Tour Guide’s Outlook
An interview with historian and tour guide Canden Schwantes

“I love the city and I love the country and I love the suburbs. Ideally, I’d want to live in a Civil War-era Main Street town that has an awesome plantation, but also has a Metro stop.”

From Phnom Penh, Cambodia… Settling In Abroad
An interview with expat Bill 

“Right away I was amazed at how easy it is to live in Phnom Penh as an expat.”

From New York… Designing the Third Place
An interview with architects Tim and Robert

“The design is industrial which is appropriate in the neighborhood, especially given its unique history and evolution, which — almost remarkably — hasn’t been built up by developers.”

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